Here today, gone tomorrow: In the music industry, they’re called one-hit wonders, while on Broadway they’re known as a flash in the pan. Similarly, the horticultural world has had its share of plants that received rave reviews when introduced but soon lost their luster.

An illustrative, though still distressing example is a shrub called ‘’red tip’’ (Photinia fraseri) that I — and many thousands of Floridians — first saw at Disney World a quarter century ago. Red tip, also called red top, is a fast-growing, cold-hardy shrub 10 to 15 feet tall that features brilliant red new growth. Everything was rosy until Disney (and all the landscapers and homeowners who installed red tip) discovered that the plant, especially if pruned, was subject to a disfiguring leaf-spotting disease.

It’s not only maladies that have led to the downfall of some popular landscape plants; our feathered friends are frequently to blame. Surinam cherry is an extremely attractive fruiting shrub or small tree familiar to generations of Floridians. Unfortunately, this red-fruited, Tropical American species (Eugenia uniflora) appeals as much to birds as to gardeners. Cedar waxwings, blue jays, robins and other birds relished the vitamin-C packed fruit, spreading its seeds so far and wide that Surinam cherry was quickly recognized as an invasive species. It’s long been a prohibited plant in Florida, though I recently saw some for sale in Winter Haven.

Even the best botanists can underestimate a plant’s ability to escape cultivation. David Fairchild, Ph.D., a plant explorer responsible for introducing soybeans, winter wheat, dates, mangoes and innumerable other plants to the U.S., had some epic failures. One of them was Gold Coast jasmine (J. dichotomum), a vine he found growing in West Africa in the 1930s. It features white, delightfully fragrant flowers and — unfortunately — delectable black fruit that wowed Florida’s cardinals and mockingbirds. Predictably, rampantly growing vines began to appear everywhere. Not surprisingly, Florida nurseries are prohibited from growing and transplanting Gold Coast jasmine.

Another plant that found South Florida’s conditions too favorable is umbrella tree (Schefflera actinophylla), the larger relative of the ubiquitous dwarf schefflera. Umbrella tree, up to 35 feet tall, quickly caught on as an imposing landscape subject in South Florida, where — almost as quickly — it was found to be highly invasive, its seeds spread by parrots. It is, of course, prohibited in Florida. But like the other invasives I’ve mentioned, it’s here to stay.

Charles Reynolds, a Winter Haven resident, has an associate’s degree in horticulture and is a member of Garden Writers Association of America. He can be reached at ballroom16@aol.com.